NRICH Maths CPD Webinar: A Review
After an exciting and intellectually tiring first two weeks
of the PGCE (including an introduction to maths resources where I was
encouraged to explore the NRICH website for myself), I sat down on Saturday
morning for my first Maths Scholars CPD webinar. This included a session on NRICH by Dr Ems Lord, who is currently the Director of NRICH, but also has incredibly
impressive credentials and past experience.
I was interested to hear Ems speak about the things she wishes she had
known whilst teaching, but I wasn’t expecting to find out anything particularly
new as I already knew how to use NRICH, or at least I thought I did!
Ems talked about the NRICH activities being aimed at
increasing students’ problem-solving skills and having a LTHC (Low Threshold,
High Ceiling) which she explained allowed any ability to access the problem
with plenty of opportunity to stretch the students to consider trends and predictions.
We were invited to consider the way the resources could be
used by the students. Ems suggested that
parts of the available “Student Solutions” could be offered to a student who
was stuck to help them get started again; that pupils could submit their own
solutions enabling them to extend their conjecturing and convincing skills to
the point of convincing an unknown audience; and that there were accessible
resources in case students are learning from home again. For A-level pupils, there are also STEP
resources which would be particularly useful for those looking at studying
maths at university.
I was amazed at the range and breadth of resources
accessible to students directly and through their teachers. However, my misconceptions of NRICH were
challenged most by the resources available to teachers. As well as the NRICH events, which I will be
making every effort to attend, and the teacher resources running alongside the
problems I was interested to hear about the Curriculum Maps and the Habits of
The Curriculum maps are contained with the Secondary teacher
homepage within the Secondary Curriculum section. These organise resources by
topic and level. I plan to use these maps to link relevant resources to lesson
planning and would recommend these to any other trainee maths teachers.
The most interesting aspect for me was Habits of Mind
sections. This section conjectures that
pupils learn better when they are being curious, resourceful, resilient and
collaborative. This sparked my interest
and led me to spend time reviewing the suggested activities for each topic to help
our students become more curious, resourceful, resilient and collaborative.
I am so glad I joined the webinar and listened to Ems and I
am planning to try out some of the activities with my maths-loving daughter and
to incorporate activities into my lesson planning in school as soon as
By Anna Gray
You can find NRICH on Twitter as @Nrichmaths, Dr Ems Lord as @DrEmsLord, and Anna Gray as @MrsGray1905.